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» April 27, 2005 «
For a second straight year, prune growers say they expect small crops. Poor weather during bloom in the Sacramento Valley will reduce prune production. This comes after farmers saw the smallest crop in 86 years last season, when per-acre production dropped to less than one-third of average. The California Dried Plum Board has commissioned a study to determine just how short this year's crop will be, but results won't be available until June.
A gap in lettuce supplies has affected wholesale prices. Salinas Valley lettuce growers say cool temperatures have slowed crop development there, and harvest in the Huron region of the San Joaquin Valley is winding down. That could lead to reduced supplies for a couple of weeks, until the Salinas harvest accelerates. Market watchers say wholesale lettuce prices moved sharply higher yesterday (Tuesday).
A world trade body has admonished Japan for restricting imports of American apples. The World Trade Organization ruled against Japan in an ongoing dispute with the United States. Japan has restricted apple imports, alleging that it needs to prevent a bacterial disease. But the U.S. said the rules were unnecessarily restrictive, and the trade body agreed. The ruling permits the U.S. to impose tariffs against Japanese goods.
Sales of flowers, garden plants and other floriculture crops added up to more than $1 billion dollars for California growers last year. A government report issued yesterday says the overall wholesale value of California floriculture crops edged up slightly, compared to the previous year. California's total represents about one-fifth of overall U.S. production.
On the Calendar:
The Merced County Spring Fair opens today (Wednesday) in Los Banos. Agricultural water policy will be among the topics as the State Board of Food and Agriculture meets in Sacramento.